Shop > Periodicals


Another Pamphlet, Issue #05: Symmetry!

Another Pamphlet
14 × 21.5 × 0.2 cm

Another Pamplet

Issue #05: Symmetry!

Symmetry surrounds us. It’s present in ancient Greek mosaics, medieval churches, the human body, the arrangement of atoms in a crystal, flowers, arguments, and the laws of quantum mechanics. Linking together the seemingly disparate disciplines of art, architecture, biology, crystallography, physics, and philosophy, symmetry is a fundamentally interdisciplinary concept that reveals common underlying patterns, suggests opportunities for disciplinary exchange, and because of its broad relevance, demands continued interrogation.

Although symmetry has been a central concern of architectural discourse throughout history, it largely went out of fashion with the rise of modernism, as the discipline turned to forms suggesting dynamism and incompleteness rather than stability and order. Paradoxically, whereas the 20th century saw the disciplines of mathematics, physics, and philosophy expanding their engagement with symmetry, architecture turned away from it.

This misalignment can partially be attributed to architecture’s narrow definition of symmetry – limited to formal bi-lateral equivalence. Overlooking the many other instances of symmetry (including helical, self-similar, fractal, etc.), architecture has gone mute on a subject at the center of many of the most vital conversations of the day.

Of course, even though architects have fallen out of the larger conversation, considered in its broadest sense, symmetry continues to be at play in nearly every decision architects make – including materiality, space, scale, part-to-whole relations, legibility, organizational systems, mechanical flows, efficiency, and beauty. Although the power of symmetry has not changed, its perception within the discipline has.

After a century of asymmetry, what might symmetry offer us now that we’ve missed along the way? Clearly it at least offers an expanded toolkit of formal and organizational strategies. But might it also satisfy a uniquely contemporary need (or subconscious desire?) for the inherent power of bilateral equivalencies so long out of favor, and so absent from our current visual landscape?

This issue claims symmetry as an urgently relevant topic, precisely because it’s so glaringly not a topic in contemporary discourse.


leo henke

isaiah king

ajay manthripragada

giancarlo mazzanti

michael meredith

ryan neiheiser

sarah oppenheimer

emmanuel petit

galia solomonoff

giancarlo valle

michael young

Above all, another pamphlet is a conversation, a loose exchange of forms and ideas, an excuse to play, a frame through which to look, a shared excitement. It is an open dialogue with our friends, our histories, and our surroundings. Meaning both “more of the same” and “something different”, “another” contains the seeds of both continuity and change. Another pamphlet mines this contradiction – this tension between past and future – opportunistically interrogating, critiquing, and celebratin

  1. Another Pamphlet, Issue #05: Symmetry!

Related Items

  1. Anther Pamphlet Issue 4 SCALELESS!
  2. Amc2 Journal Issue 3
  3. RAD Issue 14
  4. Document, Issue #2, Summer 2010
  5. Girls Like Us Issue 8
  6. RAD Issue 15
  7. PROVENCE Issue E
  8. GAS 001
  9. Camera Austria International
  10. Nestor Kruger: The WIRE, issue 280, June 2007
  11. Afterall Issue 43
  12. Afterall Issue 44
  13. Afterall Issue 41
  14. Afterall Issue 47
  15. Afterall Issue 42
  16. Afterall Issue 48
  17. Fish Head in a French Press
  18. basso magazin #6: believe it or not
  19. Philip Ocampo and Kris Trofimova: Pluto: Issue 1
  20. Afterall Issue 46
  21. Afterall Issue 39
  22. Dillon Nusca and Kris Trofimova: Pluto: Issue 2
  23. The 4 Poets Issue 4
  24. (parenthetical)
  25. Phile Magazine Issue No. 3
  26. Millions Magazine: Issue 4
  27. Afterall Issue 40
  28. Common Ground : Issue Common Ground : Issue 154 May 2004 and 161 Dec 2004
  29. LINE Magazine, Issue 3: The Sound Edition
  30. Amc2 Journal Issue 2
  31. Afterall Issue 45
  32. Laser Magazine, Magic Number Three Issue
  33. Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke: Böhm#40 True Copy, Same Same But Different: Year 13/November 2011
  34. Glümbot
  35. Cecilia Berkovic: The WIRE, issue 277, March 2007
  36. Millions Magazine: Issue 3
  37. Phile Magazine Issue No. 5